There are two ways of reading John Norris’s ‘Collision Course: one can read it as a student of diplomacy and perhaps be soberly impressed with its contents; or one can read it as a complete outsider, as an Outsider in Albert Camus’ sense, as simply a fellow human who identifies with not only Americans but also Russians and Serbs, be totally depressed by the stark bullying of the stronger power that poses as “diplomacy”. Not only the bullying, but the willingness of the stronger power to quite knowingly risk full scale great power war and treat the slaughter of civilians as a “pressuring bargaining chip”. I suspect many Americans would be shocked to read a US diplomat having no discomfort with identifying openly with Chairman Mao’s dictum of “fight, fight, talk, talk”.
I have been wanting to finish a review of this book for weeks now and still have not had the chance to structure, cut down and complete my notes, especially the brief chapter by chapter contents. It shouldn’t be that hard. Maybe I want to achieve too much with it. But for anyone interested in the meantime here are my raw notes and quotations from the book:
Continue reading “Review Notes re Collision Course”
This was the first book I read by an Australian Lebanese academic and I found its discussion of fundamentalism and suicide terrorism most informative. It opened my eyes to seeing how our own Australian nationalism can be seen by non-westerners as just as fundamentalist as any other kind: Continue reading “Against Paranoid Nationalism: Searching for Hope in a Shrinking Society / Ghassan Hage (Pluto Press, 2003) Review”
Earlier this year I wrote up a flyer for distribution at one of our public rallies. Thought I’d share it here — make use of it as you will: Facts about suicide terrorism
If the details of the arguments of this work are not always persuasive the author nevertheless achieves his stated purpose: to demolish any illusion among his fellow Americans that the US is in any way “exceptional” in its place and role in the world. Rather, he argues that it is rapidly following in the wake of the demise of past imperial powers Spain, Holland and Britain. The extraordinary rise and influence of extremist religious tendencies; the financialization and extreme indebtedness of the economy as “real wealth production” is outsourced; and the inevitable decline and gradual replacement of the economy’s main fuel resource, are the three main streams that Phillips sees as once having broken their banks over previous leading imperial powers and that are now beginning to deluge the US. Continue reading “American theocracy: the peril and politics of radical religion, oil, and borrowed money in the 21st century / Kevin Phillips (Viking, 2006). Review”
Caveat: I am one of 14 contributors to this book. Anti-caveat: I receive no remuneration whatever from this book!
Compiler and commentator academic and aboriginal activist Stephen Hagan is highly controversial, especially in his (and my) hometown Toowoomba which the Bulletin once reported was voted the most rednecked town in Australia. Toowoomba has been the centre of his years-old campaign to have the name “Nigger” removed from a local sporting stadium, a campaign that has taken him to the Australian High Court and even to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Hagan wrote of these experiences as part of his biography in “The N Word” which won a Deadly Award for Outstanding Achievement in Literature at the Sydney Opera House in 2005. With this background one might expect this new book to be a list of the sins of the whites, but Hagan with engaging honesty confronts the racism found among both the blacks and whites on Australia’s iconic sporting fields. Continue reading “Australia’s blackest sporting moments: the top 100 / Stephen Hagan. (Ngalga Warralu, 2006) Review”
This review is very difficult for me to write given my past student experience with Alan Jones. I’m too involved emotionally and know it’s not like my other reviews and other reviewers will surely give a more rounded view of the book. But here goes anyway — at least pending the time when I will have another look back on this review of mine and reshape it to give a more objective chapter by chapter overview of the contents, sources and presentations. Continue reading “Jonestown: the power and the myth of Alan Jones / Chris Masters. (Allen & Unwin, 2006) Review”
[NOTE: The link is dead; I would like to post afresh on the nature and history of Hezbollah. — Neil Godfrey, 20th July, 2019]
Link to my earlier discussion on the role and status of Hezbollah. Since that post it was clear that Hezbollah launched rockets into civilian areas in retaliation to the massive Israeli bombardment of Lebanese urban areas. Presumably this was in part to demonstrate to Israel the ineffectiveness of their campaign to destroy Hezbollah. While scarcely on a comparable scale to Israeli bombing of urban areas this sort of bombing by Hezbollah did, sadly, prove that given the means they are capable of acting no differently in a war situation than the Allies did with their aerial bombing campaigns in World War 2.